Special Issue "Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes)"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology and Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Mario Marcello Miglietta

Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, National Research Council, Lecce, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mesoscale meteorology; Mediterranean cyclones; orographic precipitation; supercells; tornadoes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that the Mediterranean Sea is an important cyclogenetic area. Most of its cyclones have synoptic-scale and baroclinic origin; however, intense mesoscale vortices have sometimes been observed with features closely resembling those of tropical cyclones, though smaller in size. These cyclones are generally called Medicanes, a short name for “Mediterranean hurricanes”, or Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones (TLCs). Numerical simulations have shown that the latent heat release associated with convection and air–sea interaction processes are fundamental for their intensification, while baroclinic instability is important in the early stages of their lifetime. In recent years, a renewed interest in this topic is emerging, due both to the important social impact of these vortices, which may affect the coasts with intense winds and heavy precipitation, and to the implications of climate change for their intensity and location. While a number of papers shed some light on the mechanisms of formation and intensification, several questions are still subject of debate in the scientific community, ranging from the criteria for a reliable definition of Medicanes to their classification as a peculiar category or as member of an extensive category including also polar lows and subtropical cyclones.

Dr. Mario Marcello Miglietta
Guest Editor

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  • Medicanes
  • Mediterranean tropical-like cyclones
  • mesoscale meteorology
  • convection
  • air-sea interaction

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Influence of Wave State and Sea Spray on the Roughness Length: Feedback on Medicanes
Atmosphere 2018, 9(8), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9080301
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 28 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Occasionally, storms that share many features with tropical cyclones, including the presence of a quasi-circular “eye” a warm core and strong winds, are observed in the Mediterranean. Generally, they are known as Medicanes, or tropical-like cyclones (TLC). Due to the intense wind forcings
[...] Read more.
Occasionally, storms that share many features with tropical cyclones, including the presence of a quasi-circular “eye” a warm core and strong winds, are observed in the Mediterranean. Generally, they are known as Medicanes, or tropical-like cyclones (TLC). Due to the intense wind forcings and the consequent development of high wind waves, a large number of sea spray droplets—both from bubble bursting and spume tearing processes—are likely to be produced at the sea surface. In order to take into account this process, we implemented an additional Sea Spray Source Function (SSSF) in WRF-Chem, model version 3.6.1, using the GOCART (Goddard Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport) aerosol sectional module. Traditionally, air-sea momentum fluxes are computed through the classical Charnock relation that does not consider the wave-state and sea spray effects on the sea surface roughness explicitly. In order to take into account these forcing, we implemented a more recent parameterization of the sea surface aerodynamic roughness within the WRF surface layer model, which may be applicable to both moderate and high wind conditions. The implemented SSSF and sea surface roughness parameterization have been tested using an operative model sequence based on COAWST (Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Wave Sediment Transport) and WRF-Chem. The third-generation wave model SWAN (Simulating Waves Nearshore), two-way coupled with the WRF atmospheric model in the COAWST framework, provided wave field parameters. Numerical simulations have been integrated with the WRF-Chem chemistry package, with the aim of calculating the sea spray generated by the waves and to include its effect in the Charnock roughness parametrization together with the sea state effect. A single case study is performed, considering the Medicane that affected south-eastern Italy on 26 September 2006. Since this Medicane is one of the most deeply analysed in literature, its investigation can easily shed some light on the feedbacks between sea spray and drag coefficients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes))

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